Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) was a journalist and short story writer. His stories ranged from political commentary to ghost stories. I first heard of him from his stories of the American Civil War (he served with the 9th Indiana Volunteers during the war and fought at Shiloh and Chickamauga). At the end of the war, he moved to San Francisco and became a journalist. At this time, he started to publish his ghost stories.
I first owned his book Civil War Stories and The Devil’s Dictionary before I knew that he was such an amazing writer of weird fiction. Come to find out that he is universally regarded as one of the great American writers of the classic Victorian ghost story. I found a copy of The Ghost and Horror Stories of Ambrose Bierce from Dover Publications a few years back and quickly found out why he is considered one of the best of his era.
The Moonlit Road and Other Ghost and Horror Stories does not disappoint. If you have the first collection of ghost stories by Bierce, the one I mentioned above, you will have the majority of the twelve stories that are in Moonlit Road. The only new stories for me were: The Boarded Window; The Psychological Shipwreck; A Holy Terror. The other stories in the book are: The Eyes of the Panther, The Moonlit Road, The Man and the Snake, The Secret of Macarger’s Gulch, The Middle Toe of the Right Foot, John Bartine’s Watch, Beyond the Wall, A Watcher by the Dead, and Moxon’s Master.
Moonlit Road is a great collection of very well written tales of the supernatural. These stories were first published between 1909 and 1912. If you are already a fan of Ambrose Bierce, you will probably have these stories in your collection. This is a small book compared the other books of his stories. However, if you are unfamiliar with Bierce and his writing, this is a great introduction. Also, with it being a Dover ‘thrift edition’, you can buy this book at a low, low price. Last I check on Amazon, it was only $3.00.
I was sent a review copy of The Moonlit Road and Other Ghost and Horror Stories in exchange for an honest review.
What do you think of Ambrose Bierce and his ghost stories? Leave your comments below.